Walton on Thames




Statistics reveal a continuing increase in the popularity of renting



We have seen many reports in the media recently in regard to the number of people in the UK who are either renting or buying their own property. Over the past decade or so, there has been a sizable shift to private renting, and this is a trend that looks likely to continue in the coming years.



The statistics seem to back up the impression that fewer people are paying a mortgage now than in the past. The regular information gathered by the English Housing Survey has provided us with a number if interesting facts and figures, and in many cases they have proved somewhat surprising.



Figures published recently cover the period between 2013 and 2014, and they show that more people have paid off their mortgage in full than are still paying a mortgage. This is a clear indicator that fewer people are signing up to such deals, and are choosing to rent instead nowadays.



Mortgage numbers are dwindling now



According to the influential This Is Money website, the number of people with a mortgage has dropped to levels last seen in 1985, while renting is at its highest for more than 30 years. Much of this swing has been as a result of economic uncertainty during the recent global recession.



One in ten English households are now rented from a housing association, while around 7% are rented from a local authority. There are also around 4.4 million homes in England which are rented from private landlords, an indicator of the rise in buy to let (BTL) ownership.



There are a number of properties to let in and around Walton-on-Thames, and many of these would have been in the hands of owner-occupiers at one time. The local rental market is a thriving one, in part perhaps because of the popularity of this particular neck of the woods.



The cost of renting when compared with the cost of having a mortgage has been the subject of great debate over the years, but in truth the plus or minus points of each option will vary depending on the circumstances of the people in question. Average weekly costs of renting in England (£176) are, however, higher than average weekly mortgage repayments (£153).



Local authorities in most parts of the country have been under increasing pressure to build more housing, so it comes as no surprise to discover the rise in the number of dwellings in England. In 1996 there were 20.3 million, but this rose to 23.3 million in 2013.



The figures reveal some fascinating trends in the housing sector, and they serve once again to remind us that nothing ever stands still here. The coming years will continue to provide challenges to everyone involved in the industry, and here at James Neave we are always happy to be part of the process.